Speculation -Mainly Idle – On Members of Jerry Brown’s Team
With the election concluded, now begins one of the Sacramento insiders’ favorite parlor games, guessing who might be appointed to key posts in the new Jerry Brown administration.
Given the new governor’s mercurial nature, its hazardous to predict what he’ll do from one minute to the next, let alone appoint as chief of staff or cabinet secretaries.
One persistent rumor is that he’ll have no chief of staff, a rumor Brown helps to fuel.
The Democratic governor-elect was quoted in the Los Angeles Times November 3 saying he wanted to “review the very nature” of what the governor’s chief of staff does.
“Let’s get off this chief of staff stuff,” Brown is quoted as saying. “Chief of staff kind of conjures up Eisenhower’s Cabinet. I want to rethink the structure. I want to flatten the administration. I’m going to look through ways of organizing state government to make it leaner, to make it more responsive and to make it more coherent.”
So far among the conference call cognoscenti several names have surfaced. Former state senator Sheila Kuehl as secretary of Health and Human Services. Former Assemblyman John Laird as cabinet secretary for resources or director of one of the departments it oversees like Parks and Recreation, Fish and Game or Water Resources.
Denise Ducheny, termed out this year from the Senate, is indisputably had the greatest amount of knowledge about the budget and its arcane mechanics of anyone in the Legislature.
So, naturally, her name is mentioned as a possible director of the Department of Finance.
A centrist in the business arena is Jim Earp, who heads the California Alliance for Jobs, an association combining unions and contractors that seeks to boost construction in Northern and Central California.
The alliance has been a political player. Earp’s name gets heard when discussing possible Business, Transportation and Housing cabinet secretary possibilities.
Other names are less plausible or less well known to Capitol denizens.
A fun game, sure, but, again, predicting what Brown will do is always perilous.
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